Also supporting Australian equities today is a stronger gold price, which hit a 3-1/2-week high of $1,616.36 an ounce on Friday.
U.S. stocks gain:
U.S. stocks rose on Friday in spite of the banking crisis in Cyprus, paring the second weekly drop of the year for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as Nike Inc. (NKE) and Tiffany & Co. (TIF) beat earnings estimates and optimism.
The S&P 500 (SPX) advanced 0.7 percent to 1,556.89 in New York, trimming its weekly loss to 0.2 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 90.54 points, or 0.6 percent, to 14,512.03 today.